a winter wedding

Sunday, December 31, 2006

After dropping Kate off yesterday, Jon and I headed to Kalamazoo for Emily and David's wedding. We were so nervous and excited for their big day...the four of us hit it off on our vacation to California two summers ago and we have been hanging out and laughing with each other ever since then. Emily and I never thought our husbands would get along, but they have proved us wrong as both Jon and David have a pretty quirky and off beat sense of humor. We arrived early so that Jon could set up his video camera to tape the wedding and then we got to spend some time with them before the wedding and visit with some of their family and friends that had already arrived. The wedding and reception were gorgeous - tons of beautiful poinsettias and flowers. We're so excited and happy for them - they are so perfect for each other!










kate the rocker

One of my former college roommate's, Kate, is back in town for a few weeks and she spent the night (our first house guest) on Friday night. She's a teacher and has been teaching K-12 art and living in Nicaragua since August. It was so nice to see her and catch up things.

I may have scared her off with my cooking - way too limey chicken and lumpy raspberry pancakes. I'm not sure she believes me when I say that my cooking doesn't usually taste that bad. We made some scallion LIME chicken together...which had a bit too much lime for our taste (that new lime squeezer my mom got me for Christmas works incredibly well!). In true Kate fashion, she picked the best time to describe the gory details of a parasite that she picked up while in Nicaragua...at breakfast, of course! The already gross raspberry pancakes just got a little grosser...eww.

The highlight of her visit had to have been all of the guitar hero that we played. Jon borrowed the game and two guitars from his friend, Tim, and we spent the evening rocking it out. Kate wowed us with her mad video game skills and was able to pass a lot of the songs in the game. This game is hilarious and a ton of fun! I think I will have the song "Take me out" by Franz Ferdinand stuck in my head for the next week!


our first christmas

well, our first Christmas was quite eventful. We started the festivities by cooking a Christmas dinner (ham and all) for Jon's grandma and grandpa, and his mom and her boyfriend. Everything went off without a hitch although we now have a new appreciation for all the hard works our mom have to go through to prepare a meal for a large group of people. Cooking for two is definitely easier. Jon's mom, among other things, got us this inflatable snowman, with fiber optics, motion sensors and a recordable voice option. We've been having fun recording weird messages for people who drop by the house. The cats aren't quite sure what to think of it yet.


We spent the night at my parent's house on Christmas eve. Jon and my mom and sisters painted Christmas cookies together using food coloring.



Jon, ever the animal lover, was able to pile two out of three of my family's cats into our bed for the night to sleep with us. We've been debating whether or not we should adopt another kitty but are leaning away from it. At one point I heard Jon talking to the cat, Isabella, asking her to "blink twice if you want to come and live with us." Fortunately for me, she only blinked once.


Our family had the traditional breakfast pizza (crescent rolls, eggs, sausage, cheese and peppers) for breakfast while we opened presents. Afterward, we headed over to my grandparent's house for the big extended family get together...it was a nice relaxing day with lots of good food.

We got some really cool gifts this year...slippers for Jon, a carbon monoxide detector for the house, some cooking utensils, a Japan guide book, pinking shears, target gift cards, and some cookbooks. Jon gave me a paper shredder (I've been wanting one of these for quite a while!). And I gave him the Yale Book of Quotations...he's been leaving people with words of wisdom from the book as they leave our house...some of them are pretty funny.


christmas quilts

This year was mostly a handmade Christmas for me...I came up with the idea to make small lap quilts for my mom, Jon's mom, and my grandma. I started them all in September with the intention of finishing them all before we moved. I finished everything but the top stitching on my mom's quilt before we moved. And, of course, I didn't manage to finishing that until a few days before Christmas. They were all so well received (and it was nice to give myself an excuse to buy fabric and practice my technique).

For Jon's mom, a flannel quilt with squares of nature prints...it will be perfect for cuddling under in front of her fireplace that is always burning.


For my mom...a french country quilt to match the decor in her house.


And for my grandma, a Christmas quilt, because she loves all things Chrismas...you should see her santa collection!




I purchased materials to make our stockings a couple of months ago and finally got around to finishing them a few days before Christmas. I had no problem adding the trim on the cuff, but when it finally came time to sewing everything together it was a nightmare. I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to sew the cuff on correctly so that it would fold over with the right side out. Let's just say that I put my seam ripper to good use on this one!

But, it's nice to cross another project off my list of things to do and to have some more green stuff to hang around our house!

happy birthday joel!

Friday, December 22, 2006


Joel called us as we were falling asleep last night and we ended up having a two hour online chat - he even turned on his webcam near the end so he could show us his mad shamisen skills.

We emailed him this birthday "poster" so that we could hear his expression when he opened it...he responded in true Joru form.

work in progress

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Jon is almost officially settled into his new edit suite in our basement. When we moved in it was just a framed room with some poorly adhered dry wall. With lots of help from my dad and lots of blood, sweat, and tears...Jon finished it up and moved in all of the final furniture last night.

The Moral of the Story: hire some to do the drywalling! Why did everyone else tell us this after the fact?

Here are the before during and after pictures...if only the room came together as quickly as these pictures suggest.

Step One: prepping the walls and re-fitting the drywall


Step Two: Applying tape and joint compound. Repeat two times. Then sand all joints and spots.


Step Three: Apply Primer. Paint Ceiling. Paint Walls (Stem Green by Benjamin Moore)


Step Four: Measure, cut and install carpet (I am absolutely 100% sure that professionals do not do this by measuring angles of a 10 ft square and using scotch tape, wrapping paper, yarn, shoes and sharpies to lay out and cut an exact replica of the room on the piece of carpet...a true character building experience! And we thought it would be a 15 minute job...HA!)


Step Five: Install baseboard molding and track lighting

Step Six: Move in furniture and equipment


Jon still has some tweaking to do and boxes to empty before he is officially settled, but I'm so excited for him to finally have his own creative space...he's been wanting this for quite a while!

oh no...not another hobby


I've found yet another hobby to occupy my time...knitting. There is just something so relaxing and wintery about it...truly the perfect hobby for the winter months. Not to mention, it's a great way to catch up on all of the cable tv I've been missing out on for the past 25 years! With the help of my friend Joli, and this great online knitting how-to website, I've been working on knitting a few different scarves.



I just finished up this orange scarf for my sister, Rachel, for Christmas and I've got some more in the works for the coming weeks.

And who knew they had stores dedicated to selling only yarn and knitting/crocheting supplies?!? I've checked out City Knits in Detroit where I picked up some Manos del Uruguay yarn and Ewenique Knits in Royal Oak, where Jon picked out some yarn for me to make a scarf for him (thought he'd keep me from spending money, but it was the other way around - what a perfect match we are)


christmas tree

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Tonight I set up our Christmas tree tonight while Jon and my dad worked on his office. We both had what we might coin a "macaroni and cheese night" - just a frustrating time all around. Jon was annoyed with the tedious job of drywall taping and I was annoyed that I ran out of blue lights halfway up the tree. Definitely nothing that a bowl of macaroni and cheese can't cure!

Well, the tree is up and we're both winding down from our stressful evening. Now we have something pretty to look at. Nuku Nuku has been completely enthralled with the tree. She had a successful visit to the vet yesterday and her paw is all cured. Best of all, the claw trimming was "free" because she had all of her vaccines updated - ha!


This last picture cracks me up...Jon and the cats cuddling on the couch. Notice how Shinji has strategically placed himself on the couch to make sure that there is no room for me to sit next to Jon, or on the couch for that matter. He's still a little jealous of me.


a verrry loooong weekend

Sunday, November 26, 2006


We were so glad to have a four day weekend to work on some house stuff and hang out with the fam! Jon actually has tomorrow off too, so it's more house work for him all day. I don't envy him.

I tried my hardest to bake a cute dessert for the Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday...it was a nightmare from the get-go. I saw the recipe on food tv (yay cable!) for Pumpkin spice bundt cake and really wanted to try out my new silicone bundt pan. What I didn't realize until I cooked the meal was that it wasn't a 12-cup pan. Well, Jon tells me "just put all the batter in the pan, it will just rise and you can trim the bottom off." Not so. Perhaps in a normal metal pan, but not in a silicone pan. Halfway through the baking period, the pan had collapsed on one side and all of the batter was spilling out onto the tray it was cooking on. I pulled the cake out of the oven and scooped half of it out into a bread pan and placed the bundt pan back into the oven. The cake took forever to bake and when it was finally done, I immediately drizzled the frosting over the top. Big mistake as it melted into the cake and turned into a lumpy mess. Needless to say, it tasted better than it looked. According to Jon, "now you'll know what not to do next time." Riiight...



Jon and my dad have been working on Jon's basement office all weekend. When we moved in, the room was framed but poorly drywalled. My dad has been showing Jon the ins and outs of drywalling and electrical work. They finished all of the prep work today and started on the taping and joint compound this afternoon. Jon hopes to put the three coats of joint compound on by Thursday so that he can paint it and move in this weekend. He'll finally have his own room to store all of his speakers, cables, receivers, monitors and computers and I couldn't be happier!


I spent all day on Saturday working on my ornament for the holiday ornament swap. I made some felt Christmas trees with buttons for ornaments. I've never sewn so many buttons in my life! They go in the mail tomorrow and it's great to have the project finished up a few days early!



We woke up this morning to find that Nuku Nuku was walking around with a limp. When she stood still, she would hold her front left paw up like a prancing horse. Upon further inspection, Jon saw that she has what appears to be an ingrown claw. Ouch! She's off to the vet tomorrow morning to get it taken care of. Poor thing! We wouldn't have made her model in sunglasses the other day if we knew she'd be going through so much pain!

And finally...we cleaned up and cleared out the rest of our belongings at the apartment today. Jon's turning in the keys tomorrow. It was sad to say goodbye to our first place together, but we love our new house sooo much more.

new house!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Well, we closed on our new house on November 9, and have been working on it ever since. We've done lots of painting, installed new blinds and changed some light fixtures. We're so excited to finally have our own space to paint and decorate with no restrictions. This place has so many things that our apartment didn't: guest parking, a big kitchen, "free" laundry, and most of all, lots of space.


I haven't taken any before or after pictures of our big project, but I did snap this photo of Nuku Nuku relaxing as Jon and I installed the last set of blinds in the guest bedroom. The cats have not enjoyed this transition as much as we have. They've spent much of the last week under the covers in our bed. We only see them at night when they venture around the house apprehensively. We hope they will come around soon!

I'll try to post some after pictures later this week when I have time to take pictures during the daylight hours.

delicious dish

Wednesday, November 8, 2006


Catherine turned me onto the world of Rachael Ray a last year and I bought my first cookbook, Express Lane Meals, a few months ago. Since then, Jon and I have decided that Thai Chicken Pizza is our favorite from the book. We've made it a handful of times and it turns out great each time. I found the recipe listed on this recipe site.

in my life

Tuesday, November 7, 2006


Erica is no longer a cider mill virgin. Catherine, Jon and I introduced her to the world of cider, donuts, and caramel apples at Yates Cider Mill a few weeks ago. Yes, she's from Michigan. No, she's never been to a cider mill before.


Jon has discovered his new favorite food.


Jon and I have discovered the joy of Buffalo Wild Wings. It's a tasty twist on our monthly Chicken Shack outings. Gotta love 50 cent boneless wing night!


Joel has started planning our visit to Japan next March. We are definitely looking forward to the vacation! We got the ball rolling by getting our passports updated and in order. Next up, plane tickets.

it runs in the family

Monday, November 6, 2006

I have finally figured out who Jon got his sense of direction from...his grandma. Here is a piece of the evidence:


I'm sure you're all wondering why I would post a map of the directions to Jon's grandparent's house. Well, I'm pretty sure you'll never be able to guess where it leads...I sure couldn't. It was all I could do to keep myself from laughing as she drew the map and told us how to get to her house. After ten minutes of explanation I still had no idea what her street name or number was.

Now, every time Jon forgets which way to turn onto our street or which highway to take to get to work, I'll just think of his grandma and smile.

jon's been cheating

Monday, October 16, 2006


on our cats, that is.

He took quite a liking to my sister's two cats, Charlie and Riley, while we were at my parent's house. I think our cats could smell other cats on his clothes when we came home. They're not happy with him right now.



These cats are quite the acrobats. Here is Riley catching some air while he chases after the laser pointer. Too bad I couldn't get a picture of the ground below to give some perspective (he was about 4 feet off the floor in this pic).


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